them in moss and fine sifted leaf-mould, and filling
globular wire baskets with handles, by which they may
be suspended by means of a wire from the roof of a
lofty house. This is especially the case with the free-
flowering and clear-coloured Achimenes, such as old
longiflora (blue) and longiflora alba, two remarkable
and showy sorts ; these will appear almost of celestial
beauty for many weeks. To meet the object in view
perfectly, each basket must be well filled or there will
be a defect in the display. The plants should be
bedded in with the moss in layers with their points
showing out all round, but not more than three inches
apart. A single basket of the ordinary size will take
perhaps fifty, sixty, or eighty plants ; but as the
Achimenes are multiplied so fast and so easily, it does
not take much to fill a dozen or two of such baskets.
It is quite astonishing what a number of fine bulbs
one of these baskets will turn out in one season. The
moss and leaf-mould together seem exactly the thing for
them ; the rhizomes run into it, forming bulbs in abund-
ance which I find are larger and much healthier than
THE GESNERACEOUS HOUSE. 131
when grown merely in the soil. If they are potted off
for flowering, a good handful of moss should be placed
in the bottom of each pot. Weak stimulants may be
given to all the Gesneras during the flowering. It
will be necessary to provide a double set of hot-water
pipes for this house.
THE CALCEOLARIA AND CINERARIA HOUSE.
THE Calceolaria and Cineraria are two such well-known
species that they need no description, although for
FIG. 25. SECTION OP A SIXTY-FEET SPAN-ROOF CARNATION HOUSE,
EIGHTEEN FEET WIDE.
Keference to plan. a a a a, top ventilators ; B B B, sliding sashes ; c c c c c, zinc
shutters, made to lift up and down in runs for the admission of air, when the
sashes, B,' cannot be opened ; D D, staging all round the house, two feet three
inches wide, to hold three rows of carnations ; E, the centre stand, showing how
the fixed troughs are made for the plants, nine inches wide and seven inches deep ;
F, hot^ water pipes ; G, pathway.
END SECTION OF HOUSE.
all that, practical treatises never seem to be out of
place regarding them. They are usually considered
THE CALCEOLARIA HOUSE. 133
difficult plants to grow well at least this is the com-
plaint of amateurs. ' Ah ! ' they say ' we like them, but
they are so much infested with or liable to the insect ; '
so they give up the idea of growing them.
I know very well that to grow either of them in a
mixed collection of plants is far more difficult than it is
to grow them in a house by themselves. This is why I
particularly wish to impress upon the reader the neces-
sity of devoting a house almost entirely, if not quite, to
the exclusive growing of these and some other plants,
as complete collections of the same species and their
varieties. The difference required in the treatment of
the various genera call aloud for the exclusive devotion
of compartments of houses, or departments devoted solely
to each and its allies. No one can grow Geraniums and
Calceolarias and Cinerarias all together at one and the
same time ; by attempting to do so a miserable failure
is the result, and extorts complaints against these indi-
vidual species. Grlass is now cheap, and by following
up my method in the construction of houses, and by the
economical way of glazing, heating, &c. much larger
houses can be built for the same prices usually paid for
places half the size. I can guarantee this, and I am
fully prepared to give full illustrations and detailed
estimates with practical information how to do it.
The house illustrated above, which is precisely the
same as for the forcing of the Pink and Carnation, costs
about half the amount that most professional builders
charge for the construction of a similar place. I see by
the price lists of various builders I have now by me that
such a house complete will cost not less than 155.,
whereas my estimate is 77. 18s. complete, without the
stage for the plants. Then why not devote a house to
134 THE FORCING GARDEN.
the prize-growing of these two beautiful subjects ? What
will grow the Cineraria will also grow the Calceolaria,
i.e. the same house will do for both in succession.
I want to show again how effective and interesting
such a house may be made- with only these two classes.
It is considerably more difficult to grow a lot of miscel-
laneous plants in one house, than one or two species in
the same. Many no doubt have been struck with the
idea of realising ' 176?. from three glass houses,' as I
have said may be done in a business way, in my ' Mul-
tum-in-parvo Gardening ; ' but I must say again, that if
it can be done in a business way, then it is surely worth
while to try the same thing in the way of pleasure for
the sake of the amount of variety in the aggregate, be-
sides on account of its being the easiest and surest way
of obtaining a good effect. Nor can anything give
this result with less trouble and with greater satisfac-
tion, than first a house of good Cinerarias, and then
Calceolarias to succeed them ; and when we remember
that there are few classes of plants that can compete
with these two for beauty and variety and as effective
show plants, no one will dispute my plea for houses
devoted entirely to them ; and if grown as they should
be there are few persons but will prefer them to most
Seedling Cinerarias generally produce much hand-
somer plants than those grown from offsets, although,
to perpetuate the true sort, obtaining the plants from
offsets must be resorted to. It is sometimes difficult
to do this, for generally the Cineraria will flower itself
to death, nor can you prevent it with some sorts ; no
one can control the freedom with which some will
THE CINERARIA HOUSE. 135
No stopping of the growth must be done to Cine-
rarias with a view to produce offsets. They will not
bear the stopping of the flower scapes ; therefore those
who want to produce plants in this way had better let
the plants flower as they will, and when the signs of
flowering begin to decrease remove them from the
house to a cold shady pit or frame, where probably a
greater inducement will be given them to produce off-
sets. As soon as these appear, which spring from the
surface of the pot, close to the stems, and when they
are large enough, take them off with a root if possible
attached to each, and pot them into three-inch pots in
a compost of one half fine sifted leaf-mould, and one
half maiden loam with a little sand added, and then
set them in a shady cool pit or frame, giving them
some water. These must be shifted into six-inch pots
as soon as the small pots are filled with roots, and then
they may be continued in the frame or pit, giving an
abundance of air both night and day. Or they may be
set on ashes under a north wall till October, when they
must be placed in the house. If extra fine plants are
required they should be shifted into eight-inch pots at
once from the small ones.
Seedlings must be raised from seed sown annually
in June in seed-pans or under hand-lights in a shady
border, and in soil as described above ; potted off as
soon as they have made six or eight leaves, and treated
in the same manner as for the offset plants, frequently
syringing them all along through the summer, and
continuing it daily till they are in flower. This is the
secret of growing the Cineraria free from insects, mil-
dew, &c. which are so often complained of. Nothing is
required to keep them clean and healthy but daily
136 THE FORCING GARDEN.
syringings with clean soft water, with now and then a
fumigating with tobacco in the evening, and syringing
in the morning, till they are in flower, then the syring-
ing should be discontinued. As soon as the flower
heads are well formed give a weekly watering with
weak liquid manure half an ounce of guano to one
gallon of water is quite strong enough. The Cinerarias
will all have done flowering by the month of April,
when they should be removed from the house and
the stages cleaned, and then the Calceolarias may be
It is infinitely better to grow Calceolarias (I mean
herbaceous Calceolarias) in a cool pit or deep frame
all along from the seedling stage till they are in their
flowering pots and are actually sending up their flower
stems, than it is to coddle them in a greenhouse all the
winter, where they become infested with insect pests.
I have found that they are not at all liable, or at least
half so liable, to insects when grown in cold pits till
April, as when they are subjected to fire heat. The
plants will carry a luxuriant foliage completely covering
the pot and will be more robust w T hen in flower ; these
will succeed the Cinerarias admirably and make a most
unique show for many weeks, and if of good exhibition
varieties they will exceed most plants in richness of
The herbaceous Calceolarias cannot be multiplied
by any other means than that of seed, which should be
sown in the month of May, for flowering the following
May ; the seed should be sown on the surface of seed-
pans filled with fine leaf-mould, maiden loam and sand,
and set in a shady place in a house or pit, and the
seed-pan covered with a flat square of glass till the
THE CINERARIA HOUSE. 137
seedlings appear, when air must be given. If the soil
is made firm before sowing the seed, and then watered
with a fine rose waterpot so as to soak through the soil
in the pans, and the seed is then sown over the surface
thinly, no water will be required before the seedlings
After the Calceolarias have done flowering, they
may be succeeded by a stand of Balsams, which, if good
double ones, will pay well commercially speaking ; or, if
grown for pleasure, a miscellaneous collection of these
with Cockscombs and Fuchsias may succeed them.
This house will hold about 800 Cinerarias, the same
number of Calceolarias, about the same of Balsams, and
a thousand or more of miscellaneous plants according to
the size of them.
THE GENERAL PLANT FORCING HOUSE.
As a rule most people, both amateurs and professionals,
find it necessary to force various sorts of flowers, shrubs,
FIG. 26. SECTION OP A MISCELLANEOUS FORCING HOUSE.
Forty feet long, eleven feet wide, thirteen feet high at back, five feet high in front.
END SECTION OP HOUSE, SHOWING PIT AND PIPES.
References to house. a a a a, top ventilators, to open by cords and pulleys ; B B,
sliding sashes in front ; c c c c, zinc shutters, to slide up and down to admit air
when the front sashes cannot be opened ; D, doorway ; E, double set of hot- water
pipes ; /, the tan bed, for plunging pots of flowering shrubs, &c. ; G, the pathway
and roots in the same house. For a good compact
place for an amateur or a man having a small business
THE FORCING HOUSE. 139
the above house is well adapted where a moderate
quantity of cut flowers is required. This house is
thirty-two feet long, eleven feet wide, twelve feet high
at the back, and five feet high in front ; the construc-
tion, cost, and utility of it are worthy of notice for either
an amateur or a professional.
The total cost of this 'structure by a nice calculation
is not more than 6ll. 4s. everything complete, and
double-glazed also with fast top clips on the vertical
bar, with a good and powerful heating apparatus, pit,
and front staging, and everything as is shown. It will
take 1,586 bricks for the outer walls except the back
wall, 1,719 bricks for the pit, 1,100 feet of 21-oz. glass,
1,080 clips for glazing, and a 30L heating apparatus,
&c. &c., the materials to be of the very best kind, and
the work equal to any in a plain way. Ornamental
work contributes to appearance only, and is all very
well for setting off a mansion or dwelling house, and
perhaps may be necessary in some cases, but plants will
not grow any the better for ornamental work, and it is
three times the expense, and, I may safely say,
depreciates much sooner than solid plain work.
The cost of such a house complete, if constructed
by most of the common builders, will not be one shilling
less than 110Z. or 1201. I have no doubt that if any
one simply sends the dimensions of this house to any
professional builder of such things, and asks for an es-
timate, that 1201. will be the lowest figure. Not long
since I drew a plan, for a gentleman, of a house, and
gave the estimate for the construction and glazing of
it, which was considerably less than 50 per cent, of
the price that one or two professional builders did really
give in for the contract ; but he got it done at my
140 THE FORCING GARDEN.
price, and done well too ; and they can do it if they
like, but they want to get fully one half profit out of
It will be found that this house is a good one for
early forcing ; if the back wall is made of hollow brick-
work it will materially add to the earliness of it (see
fig. 5, section of cavity wall). The price does not in-
clude the back wall ; if one has to be made, by all
means build this kind of wall for all early houses and,
in fact, late ones too. The house should face the
south, and be screened from the cutting east winds,
which generally affect all early forcing. It should be
well double-glazed, especially for the midland and
northern counties, where it is difficult to keep out the
long and sharp frosts, and to maintain a growing heat
when it is wanted the most.
The pit should be well filled with leaves and stable
dung or new tan ; but I would caution the reader about
the tan, which is much liable to breed a most perni-
cious fungus. If therefore tan is used, some plung-
ing material must be placed on the top of it, deep
enough to let the pots into, say, nine inches ; for if it
comes up to the top of the pots, you will be dreadfully
annoyed with one of the worst kinds of fungus, for it
will rapidly spread over the whole surface, and kill
everything. It seems to possess a perfectly fleshy
nature, which I suppose comes from the skins, as it is
similar to putrid flesh ; so that the tan should never
be allowed to reach the pot, but be trodden tight into
the lower part of the pit, and filled up with it to within
say a foot of the top ; then make up this deficiency
with sawdust, cinder ash, or sand for plunging the
THE FORCING HOUSE. 141
It is necessary before anything is brought into heat
that it should be well established in the pots ; for, if
not well rooted before it is introduced into a strong
heat, the flowers will suffer, and the plant will fail.
For instance, if a Kose is taken up from the ground in
November, and ever so carefully potted, and introduced
into heat in December, flowers will come upon the
plant, but they will be poor, and the plant will pro-
bably die in the end. But if a Kose is thoroughly
established in the pot fully six months, or, say, from
the spring preceding the winter when it is put into
heat, fine flowers and a good healthy plant will be the
result. So it is with all flowering shrubs, except such
as the hardy Azaleas, Ehododendrons, &c., and some of
the herbaceous plants ; but then even these should be
taken up from the ground with good balls of earth, and
carefully potted some weeks previous to forcing. The
Narcissus will force moderately by planting the bulbs
in the pots, and then introducing them into heat ; but
they will do much better if treated after the manner of
Hyacinths; that is, pot them and plunge them into
cinder ash, sawdust, or some such thing, five or six
weeks before they are put into heat. No potted flower-
ing plants of a strong feeding nature should be shifted
immediately before putting them in heat.
All well-established plants will be benefited by
weekly applications of liquid manure after they begin
to show flower buds. Too much heat immediately after
plants are introduced into a forcing house is not good ;
those recently introduced should at first be placed at the
coldest part for a few days or a week. As much light
as it is possible to get should be admitted into all forcing
houses where there are flowering plants, especially for
142 THE FORCING GARDEN.
the fast-growing herbaceous kinds. No shading should
be done to the house from October until March, and
then on very sunny days only.
The lists of good free-flowering plants fit for forcing
are numerous, but the one below may serve as a fair
The Koses of various classes, especially the Chinas.
Azaleas, both Indian and Ghent, and the American
Khododendrons of all sorts, which may be taken
from the ground.
The Kalmias of various kinds very beautiful ever-
The Lilac, and Syringa or Mock Orange.
The Weigela rosea, and W. nivea.
The Deutzia gracilis, a beautiful pure white.
The Gardenia florida, intermedia, &c.
The Jasminum officinale; it must be established in
Spiraea japonica : this may be taken from the ground
in November, potted, and forced forthwith.
Daphne Mezereum it may be taken up from the
ground with a ball of earth if not too old, potted, and
put into heat at once ; but the plant will suffer, as the
Daphnes are impatient of removal, and take a whole
year to re-establish themselves if taken from the open
ground. All these are most desirable shrubs for forcing,
being very fragrant. Daphne indica and Blagyana,
Cneorum, Pontica, &c., are all good for forcing, but
must be grown in pots for the purpose.
The Calycanthus praecox is a good thing, being
very spicy and fragrant, but the flowers are small.
PLANTS FIT FOR FORCING. 143
Honeysuckles may be forced if grown in eight-inch
pots, and of the last season's growth. They should be
well ripened and trained at nearly full length on a wire
trellis, or by means of three or four sticks, inserted in
the pot so as to form a cylinder, when they may be
trained round them.
Nerium, or Oleander, is a splendid shrub to force.
This plant requires a strong heat, and an abundance of
Magnolia of various sorts.
Genista canariensis, a free and beautiful flowering
Guelder Rose, or Viburnum Opulus. This is a re-
markably fine mop-flowered plant, having large balls
of white flowers, but it must be grown in pots for the
Pseonia Moutan is a fine genus for forcing, as are
also the herbaceous Peeonias ; all of which must be
grown in pots for the purpose.
Leucopogon Cunninghamii, a beautiful waxy-white
flowered evergreen shrub.
There are likewise a number of other shrubs which
may be forced ; besides numerous bulbous and tuber-
ous-rooted plants, all of which should be well rooted in
the pots before they are subjected to a brisk heat.
Some will establish themselves in the pots in the course
of a few weeks, while others will require a few months,
and some will take even twelve months to do so before
they can be introduced into heat. As a rule, all succulent
and fast-growing plants, such as Hyacinths, the Nar-
cissus, the Spiraeas, Lachenalias, Crocuses, Snowdrops,
&c. will establish themselves in the pots within two
months ; while others, like the Rose, will require from
144 THE FORCING GARDEN.
six to twelve months before they can be put into heat.
The Honeysuckles, Magnolias, Daphnes, &c., must be
grown in pots for the purpose.
After the shrubby classes of plants have done
flowering, the hardy ones should be put into a cooler
house to ripen the new wood for a few weeks, and then
plunged out of doors for the summer ; but such as the
Indian Azaleas, &c., should be continued in a cool
house at least till they have made the terminal bud,
when they may be set out of doors for a few weeks, to
keep them back. All those bulbs that have done
flowering should be set under a north wall, and kept
moderately moist till they have matured their new
parts. With care, most of the herbaceous and bul-
bous plants will last many years for forcing if care-
fully looked after when they are once forced.
THE BALSAM HOUSE.
FOR commercial purposes it is necessary to devote a
whole house, or a large roomy and light pit, to the
culture of this fine species of plant. Indeed, I think
that, as in the case of most other things, an entire
FIG. 27. SECTION OF A SIXTY-FEET HOUSE FOR BALSAMS, ETC.
Twelve feet high at the ridge, five feet high at the eaves, eighteen feet wide.
References. a a, set of blank ventilators on each side, to open by rack gearing ; BB,
set of blank shutters, to open and shut by buttons ; DD, one-foot fixed panes of
glass all along the fronts ; E E, one foot of four-inch brickwork.
place devoted to the growing of the Balsam is un-
doubtedly to its advantage, although I have else-
146 THE FORCING GARDEN.
where shown that a collection of them can likewise be
grown as a successional crop with advantage. But
where it is made a special article, it is no doubt a
good plan to devote a whole house to it, which,
whether for show or seed- saving purposes, should be
of a good construction as regards light, room, and
Those who may grow Balsams, either for show pur-
poses or for seed, will find that the above plan will be
a good one, as well as cheap, to carry out. As it is an
annual which can be grown to the greatest perfection
from seed sown in March till September, no further
security from the weather is required than a careful
protection against winds, and the slightly cold nights,
&c. The seed must first be sown in seed-pans, and
set in a brisk heat till it is well up, and then it may
be removed to a cold frame, or to the house, till the
seedlings have made from four to six leaves, when
they may be at once potted off singly into three-inch
pots and kept cool and well watered.
As soon as these are filled with roots, shift them at
once into eight- or nine-inch pots, and then keep them
close till they have made a full foot of growth, keeping
them well watered. Then admit all the air possible,
to prevent them from drawing up too much, constantly
supplying them with an abundance of water, and once
a week give them a watering with some weak liquid
manure. It is immaterial what this is, but never give
it too strong.
Warrantable double and single seed may be easily
saved from the same plant ; that is, the seed that will
produce none but good double-flowering plants in the
next generation may be saved from the main spike of
THE BALSAM HOUSE. 147
flower, and from the base of the lower laterals ; and if
it is saved from the extremities of either the laterals
or the main spike, none but the commonest single
flowers will be the result in the next generation.
Mark, learn, and digest this fact, and prove the truth
of my remarks. No Balsam seed can be guaranteed to
produce double flowers if these conditions are not
observed. It is the same with Stock seed, but each
can be warranted to produce double flowers at least
ninety out of every hundred will come double if
carefully saved according to these rules ; and that is
how it is that some customers can be served from the
same firm with all good double seed, while others will
get, perhaps, not one double flower in five hundred
plants. There is no such a thing as changing the
constitution of the present seed by cultivation. You
can produce as fine-grown specimens of the Balsam as
you please by high cultivation, but if the seed is not
constituted to produce double flowers by virtue of the
concentrated juices of the plant, none, or but a very
very small percentage, will come double. Hence the
necessity of selecting seed from the main spike, and
from the first flowers of the plant. These only are
warrantable, and those who save seed otherwise do so
at all hazards of reputation.
This careful saving of both Balsam and Stock seed,
as well as that of Mangel Wurzel, Beet, Cabbage,
Broccoli, &c., is of the utmost importance. In the case
of the Balsam and Stock, the flowers should be thinned
out, and all except those up the main spike and at the
base of the laterals should be taken off, thus concen-
trating all the powers of the plant in the remaining
flowers. This is the only really safe guarantee that
148 THE FORCING GARDEN.
can be given for double flowers in the next generation.
So much for double Balsam seed saving.
The cost of such a house will be but an item com-
pared with general glass-house building, as no fire heat
is required for Balsams after the seed is w^ell up. If
the house has a span roof, which is no doubt the